Objective: To assess the risk of early neonatal morbidities and mortality and maternal risk factors associated with late preterm birth.
Method: Prospective observational study
Study period: 18 months
Result: 300 late preterm babies were studied. 84.33% of the total late preterm newborns were low birth weight babies. 28% were associated with maternal complications. Incidence of pregnancy induced hypertension was 14% in this study. 11.33% of the late preterm newborns needed resuscitation. Out of all the morbidities associated with late preterms, incidence of respiratory distress was highest with 31 %. According to this study, incidence of hyperbilirubinemia, hypothermia and respiratory distress syndrome was more towards the 34 weeks of gestation. This study shows that as the gestational age decreases, the late preterms are more prone for RDS, hypothermia and hyperbilirubinemia.
Late preterm babies are vulnerable to many complications of prematurity and there is a need of greater awareness of increased risk of late preterm morbidity in medical fraternity.